ELLENSBURG, Wash. – The No. 1-ranked Western Washington University women’s soccer team remained undefeated on the season and extended its winning streak to 32 consecutive games with a 2-0 victory over in-state rival Central Washington on Thursday afternoon in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action at the CWU Soccer Complex.
With their sixth road victory of the season, the Vikings improved to 8-0-0 and 4-0-0 in GNAC play. The 32-game winning streak remains the 4th-longest in NCAA Division II history and the 33-game unbeaten streak (32-0-1) gains sole possession of 7th-best in the NCAA II record books. WWU is also undefeated in its last 57 games vs. GNAC opponents (51-0-6) and has a 43-game unbeaten streak (41-0-2) vs. West Region opponents.
“This was a really good, comprehensive performance today by the team,” said head coach Travis Connell. “Every game unfolds a little different, and today we had to counter a lot and we adjusted very well and won in a little different way, which is a great step forward for this team.”
Freshman forward Sophie Butterfield (Bellevue, WA) scored in the 28th minute for the eventual game-winner, and junior forward Gabriela Pelogi (Federal Way, WA) scored her league-leading 9th goal of the season and 30th of her career (84’).
Sophomore forward Liv Larson (Arlington, WA) added her 5th assist of the season, setting up Butterfield’s go-ahead goal, and senior defender Malia Maack (Spokane, WA/Mead) recorded her 3rd assist over the last two games on Pelogi’s goal.
After several early chances, the Vikings broke through in the 28th minute (27:05) when Butterfield connected on a left-footed strike off a corner from Larson. After the corner, the ball was loose in the box when Butterfield fired a shot through three CWU defenders to find the back of the net from 5 yards out for her second career goal (both game winners).
Pelogi added an insurance goal in the 84th minute to put the game out of reach, volleying a header off a long cross from the left side of the field from Maack.
WWU dominated the flow of the game, out-shooting the Wildcats 29-4, including a 15-4 edge in shots on goal.
WWU senior goalkeeper Ashley Homer (Puyallup, WA) had a pair of saves, extending her personal scoreless streak to 499:27. The shutout was WWU’s fifth of the season, and fifth in the last six games.
“We got some really good contributions from non-starters in this game, with Darby Doyle playing fantastic off the bench, and Sophie Butterfield stepping up in a starting role,” added Connell. “Efforts and performances like that make our team better and push everyone to another level.”
Central Washington drops to 1-5-2 overall and 0-2-1 in GNAC play. Goalkeeper Emily Holt made 13 saves for the Wildcats.
“This was a good win against a quality opponent,” said Connell. “A lot of the players grew up competing against each other and have a tremendous amount of respect for each other. This is a healthy rivalry and we are feeling good about our performance today.”
WWU continues its road trip traveling to play Montana State Billings on Saturday at 12 pm MT/11 am PT. The game will be streamed live and feature live stats coverage on WWUVikings.com/Live. The WWU-MSUB match will also be available via the GNAC channel on several streaming devices (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, AndroidTV).
Game Notes: WWU extended its winning streak against CWU to 6 straight and is undefeated in last 12 matches vs. the Wildcats (11-0-1)…Vikings lead the all-time series over the CWU 39-11-7…Gabriela Pelogi scored her 30th career goal, remaining 9th in the WWU record books…Pelogi has scored at least one goal in 6 of WWU’s 8 games, and has a point in 7 of 8 games…WWU has scored at least one goal in its last 38 games vs. GNAC opponents, extending the conference record…WWU is 89-5-7 since the start of the 2013 season, the best record amongst all Division II programs.
⚽ Butterfield (28’) – Larson assist
⚽ Pelogi (84’) – Maack assist
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